EXCLUSIVE: Putin Reveals His Conversation With Poroshenko, His Meeting With Trump
The 2-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) ended today in Qingdao, China. The meeting was attended by the leaders of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and India and Pakistan, which attended the meeting for the first time as the members of the organization. After their acceptance as member states, the population of the SCO now exceeds 3 billion people, or more than 40% of the world's population. At the same time, the SCO countries account for a quarter of the world's GDP, are self-sufficient in natural resources, and possess significant nuclear potential.
Russia is quite comfortable and confident in the SCO, and President Putin seems to prefer the words of Confucius pronounced by Xi Jinping, to all the nonsense about sanctions and Russian threat.
Xi Jinping: «Confucianism, as an integral part of the Chinese civilization, preaches the highest human ideal, which is that the world belongs to everyone, that all countries should live in peace and harmony, help each other, and be friendly as members of one big happy family».
Alexander Balitsky has the details of the SCO summit in China.
The Presidential corteges of the member and observer states line the Qingdao wharf. Vladimir Putin concluded this marathon of negotiations and summits with a press conference.
President Putin: «The purchasing power parity of the SCO countries already exceeds that of the G7 countries. Therefore, for the global economy on the whole, given that today we once again reaffirmed our commitment to free trade and fighting protectionism; all this is crucial for world trade and for the global economy».
Meanwhile, the parallel G7 summit was held in Quebec, Canada. The G7 sees much disarray over Russia’s possible return to the group.
President Putin: «As for Russia’s return to the G7, or G8 – we never quit it. Our colleagues refused to come to Russia at some point for well-known reasons. But they would be very welcome in Moscow. We see they're that facing internal problems. But things happen. But I'd rather stress another fact which I find more significant. The American president said the USA is considering regulating additional automotive vehicles exports. This is a serious matter. This can really hurt the economic interests of many countries, namely European ones, of course. Well, we'll see how the situation develops. However, it's worth noting that there's another group which embraces almost all of the SCO and the G7 members states to discuss issues of common concern. The G20».
Putin was asked when he and Trump would discuss the whole backlog of issues face-to-face. The President of the United States has reiterated that, in his opinion, such a meeting would be helpful, and I agree that this is indeed the case. Everything is good in its own time. As soon as the American side is ready, this meeting will be held immediately, depending on my work schedule as well, of course.”
Journalists also asked about yesterday's telephone conversation with Poroshenko. They asked if Putin heard any actual interest on his part in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements?
President Putin: «Since that conversation was Ukraine’s initiative, I think this fact already shows their interest in the settlement. At least I hope so. We discussed the return of people who are detained by both sides as well as the future of the Russian journalist, which came at my initiative. Yet, it is too early to speculate on a solution, so I would refrain from commenting so as not to hinder the process».
Putin was asked if, given his busy schedule, he had seen the game of Alexander Ovechkin who had won the prestigious Stanley Cup and loudly celebrated it in a fountain. Putin replied that he hadn't seen the game, but congratulated Ovechkin.
President Putin: «Alexander and I are good friends. As for the meeting, we meet regularly. And we met even before he won the Stanley Cup».
The opening of the summit was solemn, flamboyant and grand, which is typical of China; to Piano Concerto No.1 by Tchaikovsky. The Chinese made it clear who was the special guest.
«We respect Vladimir Putin very much».
Qingdao literally translates as «green island» and is the capital of sailing. The leaders of the SCO member states seek a favorable wind together when the world is stormy.
— What do you think of Trump's suggestion to bring Russia back to G8?
Sergey Lavrov: Tonight we're having our own group of 8. We're now 8 at the SCO.
It's the first SCO meeting with India and Pakistan as member states. Until recently it was unthinkable that the two countries, with historically difficult relations, would team up. But, another step to create a Greater Eurasia, a zone of global security and free trade, was taken on the coast of the Yellow Sea. We must proceed from the concept of an open, mutually beneficial cooperation, abandoning self-centered and short-sighted policies pursuing one's own mercenary interests.
Xi Jinping: «We must create an open world economy».
The joint declaration consists of 17 documents on countering terrorism, drug trafficking, pandemics, and environmental pollution. The situations on the Korean peninsula, in Afghanistan, and about Iran, are in the spotlight.
Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran: «As for the nuclear agreements, I must say that the Russian Federation has played a very important and constructive role in their implementation. The US's illegal withdrawal from these agreements is a matter for a more serious and more profound dialogue between our two countries».
Putin had talks with Tajik President Rahmon as Russia trains the Tajik military. Putin also met with President of Uzbekistan Mirziyoyev. There's a green corridor between Moscow and Tashkent. Vegetables and fruits, among other things, are imported to Russia through it. And Russia helped build Central Asia's most powerful gas processing plant, right in the center of the desert.
With its European architecture, so unusual for China, Qingdao is a crossroad of Asian and European cultures. It's the heritage of German rule in the early 20th century. But the most important thing that Qingdao owes to Europeans is the beer factory. Now it's a huge corporation and one of the most recognizable brands here. It's no wonder that the first thing guests are treated to is beer.
And seafood, too. That's what was mostly on the reception's menu. Located on the coast, Qingdao is the most modern port in the world. It processes 43 containers per hour, which is a world record, with automated loading, unloading, and transportation. Now China can buy even more quality Russian products, which are so loved here.
«Russian beef, canned food,and sweets from Russia and are very popular».
Countries seek to increase cargo traffic. A high-speed railway will be built, spanning from China to throughout Russia, via Mongolia and Uzbekistan, for the purpose of transporting freight.
Evgeniy Ditrikh, Russian Minister of Transport: «We see a high-speed Moscow-Kazan, Moscow-Vladimir railway as our priority project and part of a Eurasian corridor».
If China is the acknowledged world leader in high-speed rail transportation, Qingdao is the city where the foundation of this dominance is laid. The Sifang Center of Innovative Rail Transport is where the trains of the future are manufactured. The name of a train «Fuxing» means «revival» in Chinese. Apparently, the Chinese alluded to their Silk road, perfectly complementing the Eurasian Economic Union initiatives.
Qingdao, plunged into fog these days, is clearly visible today just like the prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation.
Alexander Balitsky, Anastasia Sakhovskaya, Ilya Nalyotov, Mikhail Artyukhin, Andrey Yurchuk and Vladimir Ozerov for Vesti — News of the Week from Qingdao.